Thursday, 27 February 2014

Capable little ones.

We have had a lot of sickness in the infant room the past few weeks.  Colds and flu bugs are rampant and everyone seems to be affected in some way.  It's hard to slow down children for long though, I've noticed.  

Play and learning is always happening

We have about half a dozen of these lovely color blocks in the room.  I noticed one little girl working really hard with them for a long time.  She had a very clear idea of what she wanted to do.

She stacked the little one onto the big one.

Then she took the little one off and put on another big one.

Then the little one went back on top.

She took the little block off again and added a third big block.  Ooops! She persevered when the blocks fell.  She wanted to put the little block back on top but realized she couldn't reach.  She had the idea to put her feet onto the bottom shelf to see if she could reach that way.

In the end we decided to move the blocks down onto the carpet.

Re-stacking.  Big then little, then little off and the big one on.

The finished product.  She sat and looked at it for awhile.  I think she was happy with how it turned out.  And maybe she was satisfied with her work.

Don't you think that it is incredible that such a young child can play/work at something for so long?  Even though I work in the infant room everyday, I am still astounded by how capable they are.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Glorious Sun.

The sun is pouring into my kitchen window today.  I love that.  And I love that I have an afternoon shift so I can enjoy this morning sun.
It is cheering my soul.  

The warmth of the sun inside of my house is a little deceptive, though, as the weather man is still predicting negative temperatures for the time being.

My daughter wrote on her blog about the "perpetual Narnia-esque state where it is always Winter".  My hubby D wrote a in an email about us dang Canadians and our,  "We are Winter-ness".  I, the less-poetic one, complain and say go away Polar Vortex already!  Welcome beautiful warm and sunny Spring.

However, there is a small part of me that whispers, don't wish time away....

So I am living in the moment, enjoying the beautiful sunshine inside my cozy house.  Choosing gratefulness and joy.....and making soup!!

 Suffering from too much winter-esque-ness?  Try this RECIPE.  
Thanks, Farm Girl.

Monday, 24 February 2014

A Grimm's Wooden Doll House - an open ended toy.

I had the idea of buying a Grimm's Wooden Doll House for our grand-daughter for Christmas.   I wanted a toy that was made of natural materials and was open-ended.  She has many open-ended toys and loose parts that she is so comfortable playing with and very attached to, so I wanted to compliment what she already has.  When I say open-ended I mean that it is a toy that has few rules attached to it in terms of how to play with it.  It could be used as a puzzle, or for stacking, or for lining up, or as a house for dolls, a barn for animals or a garage for cars.  There are so many possibilities.

I went on-line and found what I was looking for at Ava's Appletree.  You can check it out HERE.

My daughter said that the wood smelled heavenly as it came out of the box. The wood is treated with natural oils including bees wax.   

I didn't realize that her Dad made her a doll house as well.  As it turned out my grand-daughter knew just what to do. 


Her little Fischer Price dolls fit perfectly inside.

Enjoy the little video clip of her playing with the little houses.  

"Did you heard my knocking?"


This is a toy that I would highly recommend for a daycare center or your home.  It can promote imagination and creativity in your child's play.  
I think it is worth the investment.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A De-Briefing SunSeeker

Our short, one week vacation/watching baseball trip quickly came to an end.  We arrived back home to face very snowy, wintery conditions on our four hour drive home.

We had to avoid the mountain pass we  would normally drive over due to avalanches.  The alternate canyon route is amazing, but somewhat treacherous in it's own way.  There are numerous tunnels to drive through.  

We arrived home safe and sound thankfully, and are now cozy in our fleece winter wear once again.

One of my sweet daughters asked me this morning, "What was the best part?"

Watching these guys.  In the sun.  Fun.

That's mine.  In the on deck circle, in the forefront of the picture.  #17.

Dressed in orange.

Dressed in black.

My hubby and I would go off exploring when our son was with the guys.  We enjoyed the "Old Town" section of Tuscon, Scotsdale, and Prescott.  We liked the history and old architecture, browsing through interesting shops and delicious food.

We enjoyed the week very much.  It was so nice to get a little reprieve from the winter weather.

The desert was in bloom.

I liked all the plants and flowers that are so different then ours at home.

Good-bye summer clothes, see you in a few weeks!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A City on a Desert.

So, we are in Phoenix, Arizona for Spring Training.  I so enjoy watching my son play and we go from field to field as they play different teams in the area. We are having fun meeting other parents, snowbird relatives and mysterious strangers who surprisingly have a lot in common.

 A lot of my impression of Phoenix is traffic, freeways and lane changing!  Thank Goodness for GPS and husbands who drive!

Under overpasses.

Through tunnels.

But even though a city can be built on top of a desert, the desert still exists.  

With a distinct beauty of its own.

I wonder what I will see today.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Singing with the Little Ones.

The littles in the infant room love to sing.  All day long it seems that one or another of the educators are breaking out into song.  We sing while littles are playing or waiting for lunch.  We sing while we rock them to sleep.  We sing during transitions and we sing while waiting for Mommies and Daddies at the end of the day.

Between the four educators in our room, we have quite a repertoire of songs. 

We don't do an intentional or formal group time with this age group, however there are spontaneous moments when a group of little ones will gather around an educator and they want to sing together.  Lately I have been bringing out my little stick puppets at a time like this.  I can give them one or two to hold and they can interact with the song.  Holding the puppets helps the children to focus and move while participating in the song.

Baby Beluga

These puppets are easy to make as you can see.

Five little ducks.

I used googly eyes on the duck puppets because at the time when I made them, I was working with an older age group.  I don't recommend googly eyes for the infant age group.  For some reason, (perhaps because they are infants!) the first thing they do is try to bite them off!!  

Two little fishes swimming in a tank
One named Betty and one named Frank.
Swim away Betty, Swim away Frank
Swim back Betty, Swim back Frank

Two little fishes side by side
Swim through the water, swim through the tide
They don't need a motor and they don't need a sail
They just wiggle their fins and wiggle their tails.

Singing together brings peace and unity and emotional connection into our infant room.  It is a shared creative exercise that promotes language development and listening skills.  I can see the children are empowered as they hear and memorize the songs we sing with them.

They smile, laugh, dance, clap hands, imitate the actions and have great fun during singing times.  

Think I'll make some monkey puppets next!

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Saturday, 15 February 2014

It's a Small World sometimes.

It's that time of year again, when my son heads down south with his baseball team for Spring Training. We tagged along to watch him and enjoy a bit of a holiday as well. It is super hot and wonderfully shocking for us coming from cold temperatures.

Today I thankfully found a patch of shade which I owned for the duration of a double header.  When my son wasn't out on the field I read a bit of my first ever E-Book!  My hubby D bought it for me knowing that I would be interested.  It is Silken Laumann's book Unsinkable. 

 So I was reading and watching, reading and watching, when a lady approached me.  She wanted to know what teams were playing.  When I told her we were from Canada, she was instantly interested and we started conversing.  It turned out that we had a lot in common and ended up talking for several hours.

*she loves baseball and played it and coached it
*she is interested in health and fitness and so am I
*she lives very close to one of my daughter's 
*she attended the college where my daughter and son-in-law work
*her aunt is in the senior's home where my social worker daughter works
*she worked with children and so do I
*she had a challenging childhood and so did I

I don't think visits like this are a mistake.

We talked about life, the good and the hard.

I came away feeling better. Encouraged.  

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Face Time fun.

Here are some of the fun images I saw during Face Time with my little 
grand-daughter C.  And some of the things that she said that make me smile and think she is so amazing.  Is that a Nana thing? 

Me:  Is your Mommy home (from work) yet?
C: Yes, she is.  There is Mommy and Dada and me.
Me:  That's your family.
C: Long thoughtful pause.  Everyone needs a family.

In her play kitchen.  "I am making Patty cakes.  Some for Mama, some for Dada and some for you! They will take half an hour."

The iphone is propped up in a box in so I can see what she is doing.

Glueing....which used to be pronounced, Pooing and is now pronounced Blueing...we're getting there.

Making a glue puddle to stick paper bits onto.

And a little coloring with felts.

And then....Mommy will you do Pat-A-Cake with me?

Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake

Turn around twice,



Shake and bake the ice!

Yeah!!! So.... happy!

In two minutes it will be time to say good-bye to Nana and Papa and do your bed time jobs.  So.... not happy!

I know how you feel little girl.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Work hard, Play hard.

"They're all tired from visiting with their mamas."

This is a quote from my three year old grand-daughter.  
This is a glimpse of her work..... I mean play.  What I know is that she works hard at her play.  Really hard.

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.

Fred Rogers
American television personality

Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.

Kay Redfield Jamison
Contemporary American professor of psychiatry

Whoever wants to understand much must play much.

Gottfried Benn
German physician